Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chinese Braid Embroidery/Goldwork Embroidery

 Lots of fun at Goldwork Study Group today. I think everyone is doing a fabulous job, since these are our first projects. Well, everyone but mine, which isn't actually a project, you actually have to start to have a project.


There's no picture of mine because I haven't started. I'm still getting it together.   This is our third meeting, next meeting April 25.  Sure hope I have at least a start.    
Rosalie, our leader, isn't embroidering, she is warping her new loom for the first time. What better time to do it than when you have 4 weavers in the room. Ali was absent.                                                                                                                               

Friday, March 12, 2010

Chinese Braid Embroidery/Goldwork Embroidery

I have been given a new name by friends - Turtle. I can't help being an anal perfectionist! I will accept the name.

One of the books our Goldwork Study Group is using is "Beginner's Guide to Goldwork" by Ruth Chamberlin. ISBN 0-85532-954-8  This is a fantastic book with tons of color photos and clear instructions.
Ms. Chamberlin is probably faster than I but she still had to spend a lifetime completing the embroideries in this book.

Back to my project.  My practice piece was done on a canvas stretcher frame but in the back of my mind, I remember having a frame like the one pictured on Page 27 of the Goldwork book. This sent me off on a 2 day search and when I finally found it, it is not sturdy enough for Goldwork. Sooooo, how hard can it be to make another? I did call around to see if I could find one ready made but to no avail.

After finding a board that would work, I cut the lengths, made a template for the holes and sent it off with my husband to drill the holes on his drill press.  Then I started searching for the twill tape used for attaching the cloth to the frame. Finally found some at a shop in New York, I probably should have searched for this first so it would be here by the time I needed it.  Local fabric shops aren't what they used to be.  In the mean time, I  sanded and finished my frame. The tape arrived.

Both tapes are attached now and I have moved on to preparing the linen to stretch. Hopefully, one day I will get down to embroidering. I am warming up to my new name.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chinese Braid Embroidery/Goldwork Embroidery

We had monster winds last night complete with rain that turned to sleet. This morning the mountains around us are covered with snow, very beautiful but cold.

Anyway, my Goldwork Embroidery class is coming up and I thought I'd better show some progress or they might kick me out. After doing a practice gold piece, I decided to do a cuff incorporating embroidery, goldwork, Chinese braid embroidery and maybe some beadwork.  I had seen a Chinese Braid Embroidery stand at a weaving conference last summer and had thought I might like it as I enjoy Japanese braiding. As in most of my projects, there is always something missing that plays a key part in the whole project and in this case it was the stand. I called a friend who does woodworking and after putting out heads together we came up with a wonderful stand. It's very plain but as with most wooden things that are finished perfectly, it's a joy to use.

Since it's very cold out and I have a new toy and a warm fire I have been happily braiding away on a grey and pink silk braid for the first section of my cuff.

I used some bobbin lace bobbins and tied washers on the ends for weight. The silk is RedFish DyeWorks 60/2 using 4 strands as one on each bobbin. Chinese braids are used to embroider with and are usually of a simple design.  This braid is 1/8 inch wide and fairly tight using only eight bobbins.

Today, I will try to get my embroidery frame set up.  Which is another whole project in itself.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


It's still really cold and rainy but the sun came out for a couple days so we got some trees planted and a few bushes.  The peas I planted before Stitches West have come up and the artichokes that we transplanted are doing fine. It's raining again so I've got some time to work on something.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Trails - selling

WOW! Stitches is over, actually it's been over for almost a week.  The trip up was uneventful, which is fine. We did see thousands and thousands of almond trees in bloom which made for pleasant driving.

Stitches itself was fun, knitters are way more excitable than weavers.  I have never seen an over 40 weaver squeal and jump up and down.  As this was our first show of the season it was nice to see our vendor friends.  John Marshall found a stash of real gold thread that is to die for.  Takako of Habu had the models from a knit book being published this month using her yarns. Diane and Kathie of Just Our Yarns had many new patterns for their beautiful tensel space dyed yarns. And of course Morgaine of Carolina Homespun, one of my most favorite booths.  I also tried a new moisturizer from, this is great stuff!  As is our custom, we finished off the weekend with dinner with Lisa and Charlotte at the Hilton Restaurant, we laughed until our faces hurt.

Another uneventful trip home made for a perfect weekend.